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Index March 2007

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The Great Iraq Oil Robbery

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Published on Counterpunch, by Alan Maass, 31 March, 2007

2 Excerpts: The oil men of the Bush administration are trying to set up one of the biggest swindles in history–the great Iraq oil robbery. The cabinet of the new Iraqi government – under pressure from the U.S. occupiers who put them in power – approved a law that would undo Iraq’s nationalized system and give Western oil giants unparalleled access to the country’s vast reserves.

The oil companies would be guaranteed super-profits–on a scale unknown anywhere else in the Middle East–for a period of 20 to 35 years from oil pumped out of two-thirds or more of Iraq’s oilfields. Meanwhile, Iraqis would continue to endure poverty and the devastation of war while sitting atop what is estimated to be the third-largest supply of the world’s most sought-after resource.

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Pipeline projects through Afghanistan

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Linked with Rudo de Ruijter – Netherlands, with Mathaba News Network, with Cost, abuse and danger of the dollar, and with ‘US-Iran: Raid on nuclear fuel market‘.

War on Afghanistan: Logical result of unsuccessful struggle by the U.S. to build pipelines through it? published on Al Jazeera.com, by RUDO de RUIJTER, February 9, 2007.
This is a research article by Rudo de Ruijter, containing about a hundred facts leading ultimately to the U.S. war against Afghanistan. For each of them reliable sources are mentioned. It is a disturbing article, if you don’t know these facts yet. (For fair use, you may publish and/or forward this article).

Short content: This article is about backgrounds of the U.S. war against Afghanistan. It is about oil, gas and pipelines around the Caspian Sea. To transport oil and gas from the east side of the Caspian Sea, pipelines had been planned through Afghanistan. Because a U.S. company, UNOCAL, failed to control the Afghan route, the war was prepared. When the military was ready to strike, the “terrorists” of 9/11 gave Bush the pretext to start this war and obtain support from Congress, the U.S. population and the rest of the world.

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US-Iran: Raid on nuclear fuel market

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Linked with Rudo de Ruijter – Netherlands, with Mathaba News Network, with Cost, abuse and danger of the dollar, and with Pipeline projects through Afghanistan.

by Rudo de Ruijte, Independent Researcher, Netherlands, published on Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel, March 2, 2007

In the background of the political joust about Iran, a few countries are reshaping the world. They are taking possession of the global nuclear fuel market. New International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations should keep newcomers away. The US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and Japan will become the world’s nuclear filling stations. Under the auspices of the IAEA these suppliers will dictate the rules, the prices and the currencies they want to get paid in. Iran has become the pretext and test case for their plans. The problems of tomorrow’s world economy are being shaped today.

Iran and the Non-Proliferation Treaty:

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When Northern Elephants Fight Over GMOs

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Linked with Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher – Ethiopia, with The World Future Council, with How to feed Africa, with Feeding the world and restoring the land.

Two excerpts: As the world’s attention was focused firmly on the Cancun World Trade Organization summit in September 2003, an important international agreement quietly made its entry on the world stage, holding out immense implications for developing countries.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which aims to regulate trade in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), came into force on 11 September after five-year-long negotiations over trade advantages and disadvantages—intractable North-South issues that are set to continue to bedevil the Protocol’s implementation.

This is highlighted most forcefully by the US move to take the European Union to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism over the EU’s insistence that US exporters clearly label all GM food sold to Europe …

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Feeding the world and restoring the land

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Linked with Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher – Ethiopia, with The World Future Council, with How to feed Africa, and with When Northern Elephants Fight Over GMOs.

Over recent months much attention has been focused on encouraging the governments of the G8 nations to ‘make poverty history’ by ensuring fairer trade, increasing aid and cancelling debt. While the aims are clearly laudable, insufficient attention is being given to what form the aid should take and what model of economic and agricultural development countries in Africa should pursue. Fairer and more equal distributions of resources will not be enough if we do not fundamentally rethink the way we farm, in rich and poor countries alike.

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How to feed Africa

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Linked with Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher – Ethiopia, with The World Future Council, with Feeding the world and restoring the land, and with When Northern Elephants Fight Over GMOs.

By Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher takes an alternative look at the Southern African famine – not – Famine, (on New Internationalist, Jan-Feb, 2003 by Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher).

THE food shortage in Africa is now widespread. But the drought that has accompanied this shortage is not peculiar to Africa – it is the condition of Africa that is peculiar and has created the famine conditions.

What is a drought? Even in the wettest of environments, if farmers plant crops in anticipation of average rainfall and it is below average, there will be shortages. If fluctuations from the average are to blame, then the solution is to maintain the supply of food through storage.

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Some interesting blogs and recent texts

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Blogs:

Texts:

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Too Guilty To Fly, Too Innocent To Charge?

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By Faisal Kutty, published on countercurrents.org, March 20, 2007

As Transport Canada forges ahead with its cleverly named Passenger Protect Program, the timing could not be better to seriously reconsider what is for all intents and purposes a no-fly list.

The attention to the issue of watch lists generated by the struggles of Maher Arar to clear his name should make us all sit back and reflect. There are many lessons to be learned from our government’s apology and financial settlement with Maher Arar for its role in his “extraordinary rendition” to Syria for torture.

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The cult of Ken Wilber

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Linked with Michel Bauwens – Belgium & Thailand, with The Political Economy of Peer Production, with The Foundation for P2P Alternatives, and with FIVE FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS.

by Michel Bauwens

What has gone wrong with Ken Wilber? – I used to be a great fan of Ken Wilber and his Integral Theory. As I was searching for a more integrated and inclusive understanding of personal and world processes in my twenties, and confused by all the different competing theories and techniques, the first book I read by Ken, Spectrum of Consciousness, was truly illuminating to me. What if all these western psychologists, with their various theories on the ego and how to care for it, where in fact complementary to each other? And in addition, what if the eastern theorists of paths beyond the ego, where themselves complementary to each other and to the Western points of view? What was needed was to find to right context in which to recognize the relative truth of each perspective, and to pursue truth as a combination of such partial perspectives. Thus, I’ve found Wilber’s developmental structuralism to be very convincing, and not only that, emancipatory, since it not only offered a path for personal development, but based on his hypothesis that psychogeny equals sociogeny (the development of individuals is reflected in the development of society and vice-versa), it held out great hope for future developments. As a consequence, I read pretty much all he published over the years, at least 90% if not 100% of the thousands of pages that comprise his eight volumes of Collected Works … (full text).

FIVE FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS

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Linked with Michel Bauwens – Belgium & Thailand, with The Foundation for P2P Alternatives, with The cult of Ken Wilber, and with The Political Economy of Peer Production.

SHORT VERSION by Jay Hanson:

(Read, if ou can, also the Long Version, by Jay Hanson).

– (Permission to reprint explicitly granted.) -

Modern economics is nothing more than “Social Darwinism” (the politics – NOT the science) as first revealed by God to the Dominican Friar St. Thomas Aquinas 750 years ago, and then perfected by the Physiocrats 230 years ago. Unfortunately, God didn’t bother to reveal the Laws of Thermodynamics to St. Thomas at the same time as he was doing “free markets”. But then it’s not too surprising considering the fact that God also neglected to mention that the Earth orbited the Sun.

Any ONE fundamental error in Neoclassical theory should be sufficient reason to reject conclusions based upon that theory. Here are five fundamental errors in the theory:

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The Political Economy of Peer Production

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Linked with Michel Bauwens – Belgium & Thailand, with The cult of Ken Wilber, with The Foundation for P2P Alternatives, and with FIVE FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS.

1000 Days of Theory – td026, by Michel Bauwens, published 12/1/2005, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker, Editors

Excerpt: … Peer to Peer: P2P does not refer to all behavior or processes that takes place in distributed networks: P2P specifically designates those processes that aim to increase the most widespread participation by equipotential participants. We will define these terms when we examine the characteristics of P2P processes, but here are the most general and important characteristics.

P2P processes:

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The World Social Forum at a crossroads

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by Flore-Anne Bourgeois, Geneva, Switzerland, February 2006,

“The Forum is not deliberative in nature and time will not be wasted in discussing the commas in a final document. It will be the beginning of a process of thinking together at the world level (…). The intention is, by thinking together also on a ‘globalized’ basis, to make room – in greater depth each year – for the search for alternatives to the dominant model. In fact, World Social Forum 2001 will be only the first step, but an entirely new step, which is increasingly finding an echo the whole world over. Our hope is that this echo really will secure the beginning of a new period in the struggle against human submission to the interests of capital”.

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World Social Forum: Origin and Aims

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Linked with Francisco “Chico” Whitaker Ferreira – Brazil, and with The World Future Council.

By Francisco Whitaker (English translation by Peter Lenny),

Early in 1998, the proposal for a Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) was made public. It was to be signed by the worlds wealthiest countries, then to be “proposed” to – in practice, imposed on – the rest of the countries in the world. The agreement had been discussed in secret in the OECD, the intention being for it to become a kind of World Constitution for Capital, which would give capital all the rights and almost no duties – especially in Third World countries where the “investments” would be made. The French newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique published a first exposé prepared in the United States by the “Public Citizens” movement led by Ralph Nader, in an article by Lori Wallach, a lawyer with the movement. The outcry at the absurdities contained in the agreement led to the emergence of a social movement in protest, causing France to withdraw from the negotiations in late 1998 and finally preventing the agreement from being signed.

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Courses via distance education

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HREA organises specialised courses via distance education for human rights advocates and educators, staff of social justice organisations, international and inter-governmental organisations, and development professionals.

The application process for courses offered in the second semester of 2007 and first semester of 2008 has started. Application deadlines are 1st June 2007 (for courses of second semester 2007) and 1st December 2007 (for courses of first semester 2008).

Upcoming courses:

more links about Kashmir

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Sino-Pakistan Frontier Agreement 1963.

Crossing The Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India“.

Read: A Nation Divided… on Purpose? By Duncan Pickard, published in TUFTS OBSERVER, February 23, 2007

I have an idea. I think there has been too much religious tension in the United States, so I’m going to redraw our state lines so everyone who thinks alike can live together in harmony.

The Christians will live in the South and Midwest. All Jews should report to New England. Michigan will be for the Muslims. Existentialists, atheists, and utopians: off to California. And for everyone else, feel free to go wherever you want, but stay out of the way …

… this absurd political reorganization is similar to a plan to break Iraq into three sections: geographic provinces for Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds.

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Fake Congressional Opposition To War

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by Stephen Lendman, 16 March, 2007, published on :

The US electorate sent a clear, unequivocal message in the November mid-term elections. End the Iraq war and bring home the troops. Many supporting war in the 109th Congress lost out to more moderate voices taking over their seats because voters want change and expect new faces to deliver starting with the top issue on voters’ minds in recent polls – Iraq. A majority of the public demands it, protests and heated rhetoric continue building over it, and the Congress is about to disappoint again proving getting into war is easy but even an act of Congress can’t get us out because doing nothing is less risky than taking a stand against the prevailing view in Washington. Continue Reading…

Land Acquisition In Bastar

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At A Critical Stage, By Debaranjan Sarangi, 15 March, 2007, published by Countercurrents.org.

The situation in Bastar is at a critical stage, with clashes on 27-28 Feb trying to force land acquisition for Tata’s steel plant. The “manufactured civil war” pursued by Salwa Judum continues with at least 80,000 tribal refugees in what are virtually concentration camps.

The steel plant is planned on 2,000+ hectares of tribal land belonging to 10 villages in Lohandiguda block, near the amazing Chitrakot waterfall on Indravati river. The agreement for the plant was signed between the Chhattisgarh Govt & Tata in June 2005 – precisely the month when Salwa Judum was formed – labelled a “people’s movement against the Naxalites” but actually a police sponsored terror militia forcing the evacuation of one tribal village after another, with refugees pressurized to join Salwa Judum. Continue Reading…

the MIT’s OpenCourseWare

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a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world. (Homepage).

MIT OCW:

* Is a publication of MIT course materials
* Does not require any registration
* Is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting activity
* Does not provide access to MIT faculty

Learn more about MIT OCW … (full text).

En français: MIT, trésor de connaissances désormais accessible gratuitement sur internet.

Cost, abuse and danger of the dollar

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by Rudo de Ruijter, March 6,2007, published in Europe2020.org (english Homepage – le meme en français).

Those who use dollars outside the US continuously pay a contribution to the US. It comes in the form of an inflation of 1.25 million dollars per minute. This is the result of the fast increase of the US foreign debt. Half of all US’ imports are simply added to the foreign debt and paid for by the foreign dollar holders through inflation. Moreover these dollar holders do not seem to realize, that the dollar rate they are looking at, is nothing more than a dangerous façade. If they don’t understand what is still keeping it upright, the façade may hit them by surprise. Meanwhile, well camouflaged, the dollar is at the center of several US’ conflicts. (full long text).

Help stop the vulture funds!

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Help stop the vulture funds!

Commercial companies called ‘vulture funds’ are making rich pickings from desperately poor countries by buying up bad debt. One of them has been suing Zambia for a staggering $55 million off the back of $3.3 million of ‘bad’ debt! Take Oxfam’s online action to stop vulture funds preying on poor countries.

The Money Changers /Neo-Cons have control …

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Recived by mail From: R. Wayne Wood
To: WorldCitizen.org (NOT our world-citizen.org)
Date: 04/03/2007

The Money Changers/Neo-Cons have control and the middle class is rapidly shrinking. They control the curriculum of our schools, colleges and universities and are thus able to take advantage of a financially dumbed down general public. I believe that Katherine Austin Fitts’ concept of “Voting With Your Money” is the only real way to strike at them in any way. I recently met Congressman Ron Paul at an international seminar I attended in Cancun, Mexico back in December. The Congressman told the audience that politics and politicians were never going to make the changes that we want and the world and the country need.

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A Predator Becomes More Dangerous When Wounded

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By Noam Chomsky, 11 March, 2007, published first in the guardian, repeated in countercurrent:

3 excerpts: … For the US, the primary issue in the Middle East has been, and remains, effective control of its unparalleled energy resources. Access is a secondary matter. Once the oil is on the seas it goes anywhere. Control is understood to be an instrument of global dominance. Iranian influence in the “crescent” challenges US control. By an accident of geography, the world’s major oil resources are in largely Shia areas of the Middle East: southern Iraq, adjacent regions of Saudi Arabia and Iran, with some of the major reserves of natural gas as well. Washington’s worst nightmare would be a loose Shia alliance controlling most of the world’s oil and independent of the US. Such a bloc, if it emerges, might even join the Asian Energy Security Grid based in China. Iran could be a lynchpin. If the Bush planners bring that about, they will have seriously undermined the US position of power in the world …

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globally against neoliberalism

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Received by mail from the yahoo-group WorldCitizen by glparramatta, on March 10, 2007:

Latin American and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum – Fighting and organising globally against neoliberalism, October 11-14, 2007, Melbourne, Australia:

A global call for participation

We call on all activists, organisations and communities who are committed to building a better world to join together at the Latin American and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum to be held in October 2007, in Melbourne Australia.

The forum has been initiated by the organisers of several successful conferences and gatherings in solidarity with Latin America and the Asia Pacific, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network AVSN, the Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference APISC, and the Latin American Solidarity Network LASNET.

With this call we would like to invite you to participate in this international forum. A time of resistance, progress and struggle.

Go to one of the above three websites and find all informations about this meeting.

LIMITING DOCTORS AND LAWYERS – WRONG ANSWER

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Linked with Zakari Tata Askira – Nigeria, with European banks and Africa’s wealth, and with Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons FRCS.

Excerpt: … The basic problem with Nigerian Education today is poor quality. Prolonging education will further deny poor people and females from becoming doctors and lawyers. Currently only the US and possibly Canada possess such a system in the whole world. We cannot afford this and we have completely different issues from them. This proposal is like the proverbial throwing the baby out with the bath water. Instead of spending money to improve quality, we are using up valuable resources to prolong the process of educating our poor graduates.

A young girl who graduates from secondary school at seventeen today, can only hope of being a doctor by age twenty seven by this proposed system. She then spends another five to seven years in residency. She finally completes her training at thirty two to thirty four. This is totally incredible when Nigerian life expectancy by WHO standards is fourty five years.

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… again Kashmir

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Linked with Paul Beersmans – Belgium, with Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK, and with JAMMU AND KASHMIR, A SMOULDERING CONFLICT … .

Added on March 22, 2007: linked also with DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Conclusions, with DE-MILITANT-ISATION FIRST – Meetings, and on the new created AEHRF-Pictures blog with … .

Excerpt: … The problem in Kashmir, he observed, is often represented primarily as a matter between India and Pakistan and framed around the issues of the legitimacy of Kashmir’s accession to India at independence. But this is not the problem today, he argued, as circumstances since the accession have changed such that the insurgency is now largely fueled by local grievances. In the current situation, the debate ought to focus on the experiences and aspirations of the people in the Kashmir valley, Habibullah pointed out. The ethnic and religious diversity in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is divided into three regions, has contributed to the complexity of the Kashmir problem. The majority of Jammu and Kashmir’s population of 5.4 million is resident in the Kashmir valley … (full text).

the blog: Kashmir and IDPs, and its last two posts: Kashmiri Pandits, a moment of introspections, and also Day of the ‘mujahid’;

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The Money Changers/Neo-Cons have control …

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Recived by mail:

From: R. Wayne Wood
To: WorldCitizen.org (NOT our world-citizen.org)
Date: 04/03/2007 22:12:09

The Money Changers/Neo-Cons have control and the middle class is rapidly shrinking. They control the curriculum of our schools, colleges and universities and are thus able to take advantage of a financially dumbed down general public. I believe that Katherine Austin Fitts’ concept of “Voting With Your Money” is the only real way to strike at them in any way. I recently met Congressman Ron Paul at an international seminar I attended in Cancun, Mexico back in December. The Congressman told the audience that politics and politicians were never going to make the changes that we want and the world and the country need. He said that it is up to individuals to educate themselves, and put into practice in their own lives, methods of extricating themselves from this corrupt system owned and ran by international bankers, insurance companies, and Big Pharma. With this in mind, many individuals have taken me up on my offer to mail them a Free copy of the audio presentation of “The Creature From Jekyll Island,” by G. Edward Griffin. That offer is still open by the way.

Just email your mailing address to R. Wayne Wood if you have not already done so.

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ZNet Econ watch

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a site devoted to analysis, news and information with a primary focus on the US Economy.

Three Key Steps to Sustainability, full length

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Linked with Richard Douthwaite – Ireland.

By Richard Douthwaite. HERE THE FULL TEXT (for the moment put as privat).
Contact for this article. Richard Douthwaite, Cloona, Westport, Ireland. (098) 25313.
(Die gek�rzte Fassung ist auf meinem blog als Three Key Steps to Sustainability).

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Three Key Steps to Sustainability

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Linked with Richard Douthwaite – Ireland, and with the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability.

A long excerpt of a discussion on a google group (no more existing, put there by Janet M. Eaton, Wed 18 Sep 2002, SAND IN THE WHEELS (n°145), ATTAC Weekly newsletter:

By Richard Douthwaite,

… Falling profits and unused capacity from last year’s investments obviously discourage companies from making further investments in the current year. This has serious results. In normal years in OECD economies, somewhere between 16% (Sweden) and 27% (Japan) of GNP is invested, and a similar proportion of the labour force employed, in projects which, it is hoped, will enable the economy to grow the following year. If the expected growth fails to materialise and further investments are cancelled, up to a quarter of the country’s workers can therefore find themselves without jobs. With only savings or social welfare payments to live on, these newly-unemployed people are forced to cut their spending sharply, which in turn costs other workers their jobs. The economy enters a downward spiral, with one set of job losses leading to further ones. The prospect of this happening terrifies governments so much that they work very closely with the business sector to ensure that, regardless of any social or environmental damage, the economy continues to grow.

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The Future of Europol

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The Academy of European Law organizes the Conference ‘Reforming the EU’s Oldest Law Enforcement Institution‘, Trier, 16-17 April 2007 (Event Number 307D28).

Conference Organiser(s): Cornelia Riehle, ERA.

Areas of Law: Police Co-operation. Target audience: Police officers and ministry officials, representatives of Europol’s national units and interested EU institutions, lawyers specialised in criminal law. Languages English, German (simultaneous interpretation). Conference programme (downloadable).

Description: Comprehensive reforms are envisaged for the oldest institution of EU law enforcement cooperation. The seminar will focus on the influence of these reforms on Europol’s cooperation with EU Member States, other EU institutions and Third States. Sketching Europol’s new face in the short and in the long term will be the main aim of the seminar. Europol’s new possibilities after the coming into force of the three Protocols amending the Europol Convention and providing for an extended mandate, the participation in joint investigation teams, an extended information system and the latest development of Europol’s cooperation with third countries and other EU institutions will be examined and the added value of the new Organised Crime Threat Assessment discussed.

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Training Course on European Citizenship

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Received by e-mail, they write (March 2, 2007):

Next week we start a 5-day Training Course on Active Citizenship and Youth Participation in Krakow, Poland. If anyone from your organisation is interested in our training course, please contact me asap and buy the ticket to join us in Krakow.

Training dates: 8.03 (arrival)-15.03.2007 (departure).

We can reimburse 70% travel costs. 25 euro participation fee is deducted from reimbursement. All costs concerning accommodation, boarding and training materials are covered by Pro Futuro Europae. We could also discuss possible future cooperation and partnership.

Countries eligible to take part in the training: Italy, Greece, Austria, Latvia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland, Spain, Malta, Germany.

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Assisting Communities Together ACT

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World Programme for Human Rights Education

Launch of the Fifth Phase 2005-2007 of the ACT project: grants to NGOs for human rights education activities.

Address: ACT Project, OHCHR, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, fax: +41 22 917 90 10), E-mail.

The ACT Project focuses on a “bottom-up approach” by encouraging action at the community level with a view to improve human rights respect in practical ways, relevant to people’s specific conditions. Since 1998, OHCHR and UNDP have implemented a pilot (1998-2000), second (2000-2001), third (2001-2003) and fourth (2003-2005) phase of the ACT Project. The fifth (2005-2007) phase was launched in November 2005.

Throughout the years the ACT Project, principally aimed at strengthening local capacities for human rights education, training and public information, has also contributed, as reported by UN colleagues in the field and by grant recipients, to the following objectives:

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Facing History and Ourselves

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Received by mail from HREA-education, John Englander, 01/03/2007.

Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior, 22 March – 16 May, 2007. There are still spaces available for this Online Course for International Educators.

As a community of educators from around the world, we can participate in learning about what civil society needs from its citizens in order to thrive. Throughout Facing History and Ourselves’ online course, participants will work with Facing History resources and will be encouraged to make connections to their own society and recognize universal themes. What can we learn about democracy from the violent history of a failed democracy? About tolerance from horrific examples of neighbor turning against neighbor? About moral courage from a society that stressed blind obedience?

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